Saturday, February 21, 2015

Eurogroup: Greece save time – Le Point

Eurogroup: Greece save time – Le Point

Greece and Germany will they bury the hatchet? On paper, it is officially recorded. After two weeks of negotiations and three meetings in two weeks, members of the euro zone on Friday signed a kind of armistice that could spell the end of the public confrontation between the Greek and German ministers, Yanis Varoufakis and Wolfgang Schäuble but also allow the relaxation of deadlines on the aid plan for Greece as calming financial markets.

Under the terms of the agreement, the Eurogroup decided to extend for four months the financial aid plan for Greece, launched in 2012. The country will be able to receive the latest installment of 7 2 billion. The European Central Bank (ECB) expressed as ready to reinstate the advantageous financing regime which Athens enjoyed. But not without conditions. In this compromise agreement, Athens has made a commitment not to go back into these reforms or to announce new unilateral measures. By Monday, she must also present a list of reforms and for the consideration of its creditors, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the ECB, and the European Union (EU). The creditors will then check “globally”, in the words of Pierre Moscovici, if it complies with the commitments of Greece.

No one admits defeat

Under the pressure of a possible default in March, Greece seems to have accepted most of the requirements Eurogroup but at the end of the talks, no one has admitted defeat. “Greece leaves behind the memorandum and becomes co reforms and destiny,” said the Greek Minister Yanis Varoufakis press conference. This is the main concession that the Greek was able to get his German counterpart: the Europeans leave leeway for his country to define the structural reforms in return for financial support, and they are not too fussy about the details.

Wolfgang Schäuble, who says his side have “taken all steps to ensure that Greece is so” would indeed wanted the country presents a detailed and thorough analysis of this list of reforms very quickly by Monday, arriving in the Bundestag with guarantees, according to several European sources. The German parliament is in fact one of the four national bodies with the Netherlands, Estonia and Finland who have to vote the extension of financial aid plan for Greece.

A first step

The two parties, however, agree on one point: “This is only the first step.” Already this weekend, Greeks and Europeans will have to agree at technical level on the criteria for approval of this list of Greek reforms necessary for a first review. While the final approval of the list, through a review “further” is planned for late April, the time for Greece to detail his proposals. A third aid package could then be on track by the end of June, if ever Athens can not finance at reasonable market rates. “Step Monday second end step April third stage in late June,” summarized the Finance Minister Michel Sapin, after the meeting. So goes the euro area …


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